Location: Des Moines, IA, USA
Duration: 2 minutes
No of observers: 1
Reported: 2000-04-28 00:00:00 Pacific
Posted: 2000-05-03 00:00:00
What I thought was just a satellite, with binoculars I see 3 traveling together at the same speed.
I was sitting on my deck (suburban Des Moines) looking at various parts of the sky with my binoculars. I had put them down and was looking up at the Big Dipper, and just then, I notice a faint object moving just below Dubhe (alpha Ursa Majoris). This is not a jet or an airplane, it is much higher, no blinking lights, like a satellite would look crossing the sky, and I am a fairly seasoned sky watcher and I know what satellites look like and this appears to be one. And I see that it is moving from NW to SE across the face of the Big Dipper and so I pick up the binoculars and find it and all of a sudden I see 3 of them in my binocular (10 x 50) field! At this time they are almost straight overhead. The original one was the brightest and the others were a little fainter, you would not of been able to see them naked eye, only with the binoculars. The fainter 2 were traveling at the same speed as the brighter one and they appeared to be ahead of the brighter one. They all traveled together from NW to SE and of course they disappeared as they reached approximately 45 degrees above the horizon due to the city lights. This was for real folks! I was alone and so there are no other witnesses but I am a perfectly normal sane guy that was just out stargazing. I don't think satellites travel in 3's like this but maybe they do. Does anybody have an explanation? thanks.
We have had several reports similar to this one over the last week, or so. We believe they may be yet another launch of the U. S. Navy N.O.S.S. satellites, which fly in formation in a triangular pattern. This is only surmise at this point, however. PD. Wednesday, 03MY00
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